This article has been submitted by Shiv Azad Sharma for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think it’s a good read, ‘Like’ the article on Facebook (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘Comments’ section below.
During the cold month of February last year, on a sunny day with my XII standard books surrounding me and my laptop, on the roof of the house I used to live in, I exclaimed to my father “YES! The payment is done” as I exited the payment gateway which confirmed my spot for taking the most prestigious law examination in India.
I knew nothing more about CLAT at that time other than the fact that if you’re pursuing law, you ‘have’ to take it, let alone consider it. I was never alien to legal ambience, my father being in the same domain but I never thought of exploring law as a career option either. I was never clear about what to do till I entered XII standard and saw the rat race that ensues after the board result. Nobody can for-see what they are going to score in future, me included. I was a bright student till X standard and I still would have been called one in the remaining two classes if ‘marks’ were not considered as the only parameter for knowledge. The answer to this question is still not defined and even if it was, it would have been deemed socially unacceptable by at least some portion of the scholarly or bookish public i.e. the so called civilized people.
Falsifying my academic record of the past two years, I scored decent marks in boards though I expected more, but since I was never given a bad press by people close to me, the post-result ride went smooth. Then came the most traumatic time and the hardest decision of where to continue my further studies. I had filled the forms for almost every main stream professional course. I was intent on staying in Delhi, only because I had never considered the idea living away from family at that point of time. The idea of leaving my comfort zone intimated me inside whenever I thought of it. Everybody talked about how big a deal it would be if I cracked CLAT, with CLAT was the most illustrious of them all of the all the exams I was appearing, with DU BMS being the another one. So after a time of hustle bustle which included complaining a lot about having to immediately study after completing school I was through with my entrances and awaited results.
I came to know I scored well in all of my exams, except CLAT. I had an average score which was by no means extraordinary enough to get me a college in the top law university of India. I was not disappointed, not enough to make me crib about it, I came to terms with it because even though I had made law my aim, but it was never the only one. The realization dawned on me because I did not get a decent college irrespective of commendable scores because of circumstances. So after spending some time in a mediocre college, I left it midway, refusing to accept fate’s decision of not letting me into the profession in which I was now fully indulged with.
I started preparing for CLAT once again, not caring about what everybody will say because the same thinking led me to joining a college in which I was never interested in the first place. Setting every other thought behind, I proceeded with the decision of dropping out and having another shot at what I love. This time I was exactly sure what was on my mind, I was more than determined to make it for myself. So the day arrived, 10th of May and I entered the exam hall, a computer hall to be exact, wishing that there is no complication this year as the same kind of thing had become a trend in the exam. The paper was a shock to everyone who appeared for it. Everyone expected it to be different as it was online, but nobody expected it to be this different. But it was the same for everyone so it really did not matter. The results were out, the heartbeats were slower than normal. There was a gut feeling that I really did make it this time. I scored pretty well and it was leaps and bounds better than the previous year but did not take me long to realize that it was a bummer and I missed it again by a whisker. Tons of thoughts rushed into my mind and my brain felt no less like a F1 track with just a bit of modification, the cars had no set direction and no given rules and they all carried a question mark behind them. Was I not worthy? Did I not deserve it? What did I do? What more could I have done?
Awesome scores in all other law exams did not help matters either though it was supposed to be a good thing. It took me some time, but soon I came to realize that thousands of people appear for CLAT and not all of them are able to pursue this dream of theirs even though they still might be destined for something big. I mean is it not logical? Most of all, if not all dream to crack CLAT but there is not room for everybody. Just like a firm cannot work without its lower lever staff, somebody has to make the middle and low tier colleges going on too. It may be a bitter truth but it is in fact a truth. CLAT may be a dream too far for most of us, but being successful in this field is not. We can make it to the mountain top with anything, be it climbing it up or taking a helicopter. Both will include difficulties.
SHIV AZAD SHARMA
A LAW STUDENT NOW